Nation Politics 31 Dec 2021 Govt to waive water ...

Govt to waive water dues for 13 months; cash-strapped board in fix

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MADDY DEEKSHITH
Published Dec 31, 2021, 11:54 pm IST
Updated Jan 1, 2022, 7:37 am IST
As per the board’s records, 4,90,186 out of 9,84,023 consumer account numbers (CANs) have enrolled for the scheme, and the rest may sign up by the end of the month. —  DC image
 As per the board’s records, 4,90,186 out of 9,84,023 consumer account numbers (CANs) have enrolled for the scheme, and the rest may sign up by the end of the month. — DC image

HYDERABAD: The state government has decided to waive water dues for 13 months for all domestic consumers who have used less than 20,000 litres per month. The measure will cost the Water Board Rs 500 crore.

The government’s order covers multi-storeyed buildings and bulk consumers from December 2020 up to December 2021. This will also be applicable to consumers whose occupancy certificate and second water connection is pending with the Water Board. Those utilising excess water have to pay the bills.

Any bill pending prior to December 2020 will be issued separately without clubbing it with the present billing and without levying interest and penalty for arrears as on November 30, 2020.

As per the board’s records, 4,90,186 out of 9,84,023 consumer account numbers (CANs) have enrolled for the scheme, and the rest may sign up by the end of the month.

A senior Water Board official requesting anonymity said that though the government's decision was noble, it would dent the board's revenue. Besides this, he said, with about Rs 2,000 crore projects being under execution, the board cannot pay salaries to the employees beginning from March. The official said the water board had written to the government to pay the employees’ salaries and a decision is pending. 

The HMWS&SB has decided to construct 31 sewerage treatment plants (STPs) costing Rs 3,866.21 crore. To ensure sufficient drinking water supply till 2050, the government is executing the Sunkesula project to draw Krishna water from Nagarjunasagar.

Towards this, Rs 725 crore has been sanctioned in the current budget out of the project cost of Rs 1,450 crore and Rs 1,200 crore for supplying drinking water to residents living in and around Outer Ring Road (ORR).

It has decided to improve the sewerage network with an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore in Karwan constituency.

The total demand, placed before the government during 2020-21, to complete the capital works of water supply and sewerage handling is worth around Rs 20,000 crore. Added to it is the latest demand of Rs 5,654 crore for modernising sewerage network in the erstwhile municipal areas surrounding the GHMC.

Recently the sewerage board operations were extended to cover all urban local bodies and gram panchayats within the ORR. The area is extensive and the cost will be huge. There is no sign of any help from the government, sources said, and it would be impossible for the HMWS&SB to raise finances.

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Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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